If you suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions, the most obvious harm is the physical and emotional pain the injury caused you. However, there’s another damage you may have suffered that may be overlooked by the insurance company, but is just as important as your physical and emotional pain. That’s the impact your injuries have on your relationship with your spouse.
This is referred to as loss of consortium, and it’s a legal concept that acknowledges the harm caused to a person’s spouse due to their injuries. In this blog post, we’ll explore what loss of consortium means and how it can affect your injury claim in Oklahoma.
What Is Loss of Consortium?
Loss of consortium refers to the damage or harm suffered by a spouse due to an injury to their partner caused by someone else’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing. It recognizes that in addition to the victim’s physical pain, medical bills, and lost wages, an injured victim’s spouse may also suffer significant losses and damages.
These losses can include:
- Loss of Companionship—The injured person’s spouse may experience a loss of companionship, affection, love, and support due to their loved one’s injuries.
- Loss of Intimacy—Serious injuries can limit or prevent physical intimacy and sexual relations between spouses, which can strain a marriage or relationship.
- Emotional Distress—Spouses may experience emotional distress, anxiety, depression, or even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of the injury to their loved one.
- Financial Loss—The injured victim’s inability to contribute to the family income due to their injuries can lead to financial hardships for their spouse. Spouses of injury victims may also need to take leave from work to care for their injured partner.
What Types of Accidents Most Commonly Result in Loss of Consortium?
- Car Accidents—Motor vehicle accidents, especially those that result in catastrophic injuries, can lead to loss of consortium claims. When a victim suffers life-altering injuries in a car crash, it can significantly impact the quality of life and emotional well-being of their spouse.
- Truck Accidents—Fully loaded semi-trucks can outweigh even the largest passenger vehicles by 75,000 pounds. Because of the size and weight mismatch, people in passenger vehicles are extremely likely to suffer serious injuries in collisions with big trucks, and those injuries often have complications that result in loss of consortium.
- Medical Malpractice—Instances of medical malpractice that result in permanent injuries, disabilities, or wrongful death may lead to loss of consortium claims. When a healthcare provider’s negligence causes harm to a patient, it can affect the patient’s ability to maintain a relationship with and support their spouse.
- Slip and Fall Accidents—Slip and fall accidents that lead to severe injuries may result in loss of consortium claims, especially when an individual’s injuries affect their ability to provide emotional or financial support to their spouse.
How Loss of Consortium Can Affect Your Injury Claim
In Oklahoma, as in many other states, loss of consortium is a recognized and integral part of many personal injury claims. If you or your loved one suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, it’s essential to understand how loss of consortium can impact your injury claim.
The various impacts loss of consortium can have on an injury claim include:
- An Increase in Your Damages—Including loss of consortium in your injury claim can significantly increase the potential compensation you may receive. This can help your family better and more completely recover from the emotional and financial hardships caused by your injury.
- The Need for More Supportive Evidence—To successfully claim loss of consortium, you must provide evidence of how the injury has affected your relationship with your spouse. This may involve testimonies from family members, mental health professionals, or other experts who can demonstrate the extent of the damages suffered by you and your spouse as a result of your injuries.
- A More Complex Legal Process—Because it’s not as straightforward or calculable as medical bills and lost wages, proving loss of consortium can be a complex and emotionally challenging process in an injury claim. It is crucial to consult with an experienced Oklahoma personal injury attorney who understands state laws and can guide you through the legal aspects of your claim.
Our Oklahoma Personal Injury Lawyers Have the Experience You Need
Loss of consortium is an essential aspect of many personal injury claims in Oklahoma. It recognizes the significant impact an injury can have on not only the victim but also their spouse. If you or a loved one suffered an injury, it’s essential to consider the effects it will have on your relationship and to pursue full and fair compensation for your loss of consortium in addition to your other damages.
Navigating a loss of consortium claim can be complicated, but the Oklahoma personal injury attorneys at Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers have the experience and track record of success you need to get the money you deserve. Suffering a long-term or even permanent setback in your relationship with your spouse can be devastating for your marriage and well-being, and we want to ensure you’re fairly compensated for all your losses after a serious injury.
Contact us anytime for a free case review to learn how we can help.